Alberta Minister Commended for Key Step in Grizzly Bear Recovery

Sierra Club Canada and the more than 1200 participants in Action Grizzly Bear are commending Alberta's Sustainable Resource Development Minister, Mel Knight, and his Cabinet colleges for listing Alberta's grizzly bears as a Threatened Species under Alberta's Wildlife Act, a necessary step to recovery that was first recommended by the government's multi-stakeholder Endangered Species Conservation Committee in 2002.

Thanks to the hard work of Sierra Club Canada and Action Grizzly Bear, together with that of many other groups and citizens, grizzly bears can now check off the "E" (endangered species listing) in the B.E.A.R.S.' essentials for recovery in Alberta.  Grizzly bears in Alberta are on the eastern edge of Canada's declining northwestern population (Alberta, B.C., Yukon & NWT), and are at the rapidly westward receding, historic range of the grizzly bear.  Federal action is still pending on the May 2002 COSEWIC recommendation for federal listing under Canada's Species At Risk Act, which has a limited but more robust set of legal requirements for action on recovery than Alberta's legislation.

Remaining action items in the B.E.A.R.S.' essentials are "B" budget dedicated to recovery and in line with the amount requested in the province's grizzly bear recovery plan (rather than the ongoing situation of discretionary funding only for endangered species recovery);  "A" action on habitat protection, both additional legislated protected areas and reduction of the density of linear disturbances (the cumulative impact of roads, seismic lines, pipelines, etc.); "R" reduction of human caused mortality, including funding for a robust Bear Smart Program; and "S" science based recovery team, particularly the re-instatement of the grizzly bear recovery team, which was disbanded by the previous Minister.


Dianne Pachal, Alberta WILD Director
Sierra Club Canada
#210, 223 - 12th Ave., S.W.
Calgary, AB  T2R 0G9
Phone 403 234-7368; FAX 403 234-9532